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Media Bias

Media Bias by Bernard Goldberg
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Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

Twenty years ago, I did an interview with Bernard Goldberg on his book, Bias. I bring it up because his analysis has stood the test of time. At the time, he was the first media insider to reveal what many of us suspected about the background and attitudes of the people who determine what you read, see, and hear in the media. There were other studies (like the Lichter-Rothman studies) that also provided insight. But Bernard Goldberg’s book provided lots of information and an important perspective.

His perspective was helpful because it set aside the idea that media bias was part of some liberal conspiracy. He said: “there isn’t a well-orchestrated, vast left-wing conspiracy in America’s newsrooms.” Instead, he said that “the bitter truth” is worse. Essentially what we have in “the mainstream media” is a common worldview that is promoted in the newsrooms and promoted in the way news stories are covered.

Various studies of the media elite conclude that the people who determine what is newsworthy and how it is covered are very different from the rest of the American public. Let’s look at some examples.

Polling data of political parties shows that the United States is about evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats. But when you ask journalists to identify their political party, you only find that 4 percent of them identify themselves as Republican.

One study found that members of the media when compared to the public at large are less likely to get married and have children. They are less likely to own homes. And they are less likely to go to church or synagogue. How many of the journalists polled belonged to the American Legion or service organizations like the Rotary Club? The answer was zero.

Twenty years later, Bernard Goldberg’s book still reminds us that the media elite views the world differently than the average American.viewpoints new web version

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